Purpose: To develop a motion-corrected 3D flow-insensitive imaging approach interleaved T2 prepared-inversion recovery (iT2 prep-IR) for simultaneous lumen and wall visualization of the great thoracic vessels and cardiac structures.
Methods: A 3D flow-insensitive approach for simultaneous cardiovascular lumen and wall visualization (iT2 prep) has been previously proposed. This approach requires subject-dependent weighted subtraction to completely null the arterial blood signal in the black-blood volume. Here, we propose an (T2 prep-IR) approach to improve wall visualization and remove need for weighted subtraction. The proposed sequence is based on the acquisition and direct subtraction of 2 interleaved 3D whole-heart data sets acquired with and without T2 prep-IR preparation. Image navigators are acquired before data acquisition to enable 2D translational and 3D non-rigid motion correction allowing 100% respiratory scan efficiency. The proposed approach was evaluated in 10 healthy subjects and compared with the conventional 2D double inversion recovery (DIR) sequence and the 3D iT2 prep sequence. Additionally, 5 patients with congenital heart disease were acquired to test the clinical feasibility of the proposed approach.
Results: The proposed iT2 prep-IR sequence showed improved blood nulling compared to both DIR and iT2 prep techniques in terms of SNR (SNRblood = 6.9, 12.2, and 18.2, respectively) and contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNRmyoc-blood = 28.4, 15.4, and 15.3, respectively). No statistical difference was observed between iT2 prep-IR, iT2 prep and DIR atrial and ventricular wall thickness quantification.
Conclusion: The proposed interleaved T2 prep-IR sequence enables the simultaneous lumen and wall visualization of cardiac structures and shows promising results in terms of SNR, CNR, and wall thickness measurement.
Keywords: 3D whole-heart; black-blood atrial wall; black-blood vessel wall; bright-blood cardiac anatomy; interleaved T2prep-IR; respiratory motion correction.
© 2019 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.